Patriots spend 1st-rounder on Michel | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

The Patriots selected Georgia RB Sony Michel with the 31st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s the first 1st-round RB for New England since Laurence Maroney in 2006. That didn’t work out so well, but Michel has the potential to fare much better. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry across his 4-year college career and flashed pass-catching ability with seasons of 26 and 22 grabs. Michel is electric in the open field with surprising power. The biggest concern is a lengthy injury history that includes a torn ACL and a pair of ankle injuries. This is a exciting landing spot for Michel. New England’s backfield is crowded on paper, but Rex Burkhead, James White, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee are all role players. Consider Michel the odds-on favorite to lead the 2018 backfield in touches.

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Patriots RB Sony Michel had surgery on his foot in May, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. "The surgery was viewed as more maintenance-based to help relieve discomfort that Michel had been experiencing," Reiss adds. It sounds like a relatively minor procedure, but the timing might impact Michel's availability for the start of training camp. Any missed time would open the door for 2nd-year back Damien Harris to carve out a role.

11:12am EST 12/29/19

Patriots RB Sony Michel (illness) is active for today’s game against the Dolphins. He was added to the injury report on Saturday, but we’ve heard nothing about him being limited today. Michel boasts plenty of upside with the Pats big 17-point home favorites.

Patriots RB Sony Michel was added to the injury report on Saturday as questionable with an illness. We'll get his official game status by noon ET today. If active, Michel will be worth sticking with in an ideal matchup at home for the Dolphins' 25th-ranked RB defense.

"There isn’t much mystery regarding the Patriots running game," the Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy writes. "The preseason has made this much clear: The Pats are going to feed Sony Michel the ball early and often." It was a shaky spring for Michel, who was sidelined after another knee surgery. But he's been healthy throughout training camp and looked excellent in New England's 3rd preseason game. Michel figures to open the season as a workhorse on the ground -- and we've even heard that his role in the passing game might expand this season. He's a fine value at his current 5th-round ADP.

The Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy writes "it's pretty clear" that RB Sony Michel remains the Patriots' lead ball-carrier. Rookie RB Damien Harris drew some early-summer buzz but "hasn’t received many practice reps over the past week," per Duffy. Michel, meanwhile, has avoided a setback with his troublesome knee and even flashed improved pass-catching ability. He's turned into a nice value at his recent RB26 ADP.

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